Passivhaus Studio, Edinburgh

Passivhaus Studio, Edinburgh

client private

engineer CRA Ltd.

contract value £70,000

area 55 sq. m.

The client lives in a listed 1950s, Morris and Steadman house – the ‘Upside Down House’, and needed more room for an expanding family.

After looking at various ways of extending the existing house in a bold manner, sympathetic to the original design, it was decided it would be better to build a detached studio at the end of the garden. This will consist of an office, library, bedroom and bathroom.

The garden is surprisingly secluded and slopes steeply to the back. There are many large trees giving it a wooded feel.

The design is therefore a modern take on a ‘log cabin’. The building is made of wood using timber I-joists for al structural members and sheep’s wool insulation. It meets Passive House standards for air-tightness and insulation. There is a heat-recovery system from the bathroom which should be sufficient to heat the studio, except on extremely cold days when electric radiators can be used. The energy use of the building will be monitored over the next five years.

The house is built on stilts because there is rock within a couple of feet of ground level and the roots of mature larch trees crossing the site. Access is provided via a timber deck that wraps around the studio and softens the impact of the raised building.

The building has been designed to Passivhaus standards using sheeps wool insulation, fibre board panels and a heat recovery system from the bathroom.

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